With the leaves seeming to vanish suddenly as fall turns to winter the days become shorter and drearier. While this is one of my least favorite times creatively, I was able to find beauty in the mundane of winter. During the past week the higher elevations were blanked with a layer of snow. When such a rare occasion happens around the southeast you drop everything to go see the frigid beauty of the mountains.

Person in Snow
Icy beauty

OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO
7mm | 1/2500s | F3.2 | ISO 500
Winter Road
Slippery when wet

OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO
130mm | 1/2500s | F2.8 | ISO 500

I did exactly that, after two sunrise missions in a row, I was exhausted but my heart was full. I slept for the next day straight, but I captured some of my favorite images of this project. Seeing the mountains adorned with snow brings such a peace over everything. In combination with the sunrise, it’s a moment that is serene. Moments like this keep encouraging me to get up at 3am like a mad man.

I’ve been very pleased with how my photo project has come together. I feel like I have encapsulated the beauty that’s so hard to describe with words. I do wish I could have explored more places but that just comes with having so many spots worth visiting. It’s a list that continues to grow and never ends. The beauty the world offers is endless you just have to look around.

Orange Mountain Layers
Orange dream layers

OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO
150mm | 1/320s | F6.3 | ISO 400
Sunrise over the Blue Ridge Parkway
Sunrise over the Blue Ridge Parkway

OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO
52mm | 1/320s | F2.8 | ISO 200

As 2020 comes to a close and as I showcase my photo project, I will have graduated college from Clemson University. My major is Wildlife and Fisheries Biology which is vastly different than my passion for photography. I’m working on combining these two interests into a successful career path.

Until then I’ll still be exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains and continue to search for that feeling of mystery that I’ve fallen in love.

Instagram: @lucasraydowns

Lucas is a photographer out of Bardstown, Kentucky based in the southeast. He is often deep in the mountains in search of a feeling found nowhere else. His goal is to awaken the sense of adventure found within us and to share the beauty found around us.